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"There are many things in the scheme of existence," Chea continued, "that you do not know yet. Look what you have learned already. Do not make a judgment. Just hold what you hear and see as pieces to a great puzzle. Someday they will all fit in place. But not if you judge them now and throw the pieces away."
- From The Reluctant Shaman
Try not to judge and throw the pieces away.
Ka Ta See is a storytelling tradition, and Domano and Chea told many, many stories. Teaching through ceremony and stories leads students to their own experiences. Because the only way we truly learn is through our own experience while we are in our Song. When we are in Song we are free of the distortions of our cultural programming, or masks, as we call it. Being in Song offers us a true direct experience.
This is a long Story, that shouldn’t be rushed. If you don’t have time right now, take some time soon and come back to it. Make sure to put a reminder somewhere, because if you don’t, later may not come.
Kay and I thought that given the current climate (no, that’s not a pun) concerning the environment, it is a good time to share the Story of the Woosai.
To say the new administration launched a war on the environment would be a bit of an understatement. It is no surprise that a group of wealthy men who have shown a great disrespect, disregard for women and women’s health would put their greed before our and our children's health, and put laws in place that allow for the continuation of the rape of our Mother.
If you're interested in learning about the Spirit's perspective about what we can do about it, join the upcoming LIVE Bone Throwing Ceremony this Saturday, April 8th.
Click this link to join the ceremony,
Back to the story of the Woosai.
'"This is a good time for a different kind of story."
"You should tell her about the Woosai," Chea interrupted.
"The Woosai, Mama?" he asked.
"Woosai. The Woosai, Papa," she answered completely straight faced.
I had to laugh. The mama-papa address was so completely out of character for them that it was like a jolt that plopped me back into the present.
"But Mama," he complained.
Still laughing I asked, "What's a Woosai?"
They looked at each other and laughed.
"`They' are a people," Domano answered, "much like us. They had many wars."
"They're all dead?" I asked.
"Oh no," he answered. "They are prosperous now, and at peace for many centuries. But once they almost killed their whole home."
"Where are they," I asked. "Do they have some other name? I don't think I've ever heard of them. What's their location?"
They glanced at each other and smiled.
"It does not matter," Domano said, "Their story is what is of value."
"But," I said, "it sounds like it would be very important to know where that kind of destruction occurred. Who those people were? How they did it? Why don't you want to tell me?"
"Oh," he answered, shaking his head and smiling. Chea laughed.
"You see," he continued, "Their lands were desert lands and jungle. No other kind of place. The Woosai of the desert, long ago, they had a great hatred and suspicion of the jungle people. The jungle people did not trust the desert folks, either. Generation after generation they made war on each other. They stole property. Destroyed crop lands to starve their enemy. They did every horrible thing you could imagine to each other to fill their fears and greed."
"Are these people in Brazil? South America somewhere?" I interrupted. "Or Africa?"
"Oh, their land is far away," he continued. "Each side thought they were superior. They had religions that talked about peace and life, but they did not really listen to them. They broke the laws of their gods and spirits to get what they want.
"They thought they had very little in common with each other. They did not understand each other. Their governments were different. And their laws and beliefs and their houses and clothes. Their hatred was great. They wanted to make slaves of each other and their land.
"They did not care about the life of the nature around them, either. They killed it in their greed and hatred. They poisoned their soil and waters. Burnt their houses. Cut the jungles.
"In their heat to kill each other they killed millions and millions of animals and plants. The balance was shoved farther and farther away.
"The weather changed. No rains fell in the jungle. Winds blew the soils away. They tried to force the skies to make clouds and rain with their machines."
"Oh!" I interrupted again. "This must be Atlantis!"
"No," he answered. "This is a people whose home is on another land."
"But how come I don't know about them? Is it Lemuria?" I was becoming frustrated.
"Another land," he said again. "Another planet."
"Oh." I was disappointed. I had thought he was telling me a true story. Now it seemed obvious to me that he had made this one up.
"That is why I did not think it was best to tell you. Now you do not want to believe this story."
"How could it be true?" I asked. "How could we know such a story about another planet when we don't even know if there is any life out there at all? I'm sure it's a great story. I want to hear it. I love science fiction." I kicked a big wad of seaweed into the water.
"This is a story that our teachers told to us," Chea answered. "They told us that it was completely true. These Woosai live on a planet with two bright Suns and one very weak Sun. They have two Moons in their sky. There is one large land mass and the rest is ocean. It seems funny to us that their land takes only the shape of desert and jungle. And nothing else. But our teachers said that our planet is special to have so many kinds of lands and climates."
It sounded nice enough, but it was very hard to swallow as true. I couldn't see how they would know such information.
I nodded and Domano and I simultaneously jumped onto the incoming wave.
"OK," I answered. "I choose to neither believe or disbelieve. I'll give the Woosai the benefit of the doubt, until I can know for sure." That was easily said, but hard to carry out. I wanted to not make a judgment, to just observe and listen and store the data untainted, for another day, but this was very difficult. In spite of my effort I still wholly disbelieved the story.
"If they did not kill each other, they enslaved," Domano continued. "They were much worse than humans. After many centuries there was almost no jungle left. No crop lands. No water. Almost no animals. Or Woosai. Each blamed the other. Even the rain was now a poison.
"One day the last Woosai were foraging in the trees. They saw each other in their machines and plotted to kill.
"But they finally saw that they would all die forever if they did not help each other rebuild their forests. There would be nothing to keep their children alive. There would be no grandchildren.
"It was difficult. There was no trust. But a truce they made. Their death forced them to work together. They saw for the first time the life they had killed on their planet.
"A new world would have to be built. Their survival meant nursing the planet, together. It took every bit of knowledge and technology they had. It took three of their centuries. Many generations. All thinking of only one thing now: to make their world stay alive.
"They found in each other many things alike. Even though their language was different and details of their religions were different, they discovered underneath the same ideas. That the most important thing to them was life. Life for their children. And life for their planet home.
"Three centuries! All almost dead. They had great remorse. The value of each tiny life they learned. Their religion became one of serving and honoring all life and its many balances. They became masters of ecology.
"Now it is many centuries past. They have a great jungle on their planet again and a desert, with cities in both. Their huts are still the same as hundreds of centuries ago, made from plants and mud and rocks. They each keep and honor many ancient customs.
"They are a people who believe in the intelligence in all life. They are like shamans and talk to their planet's spirits and life forms. Yet they have something we would not expect. They are also masters of technology and space travel. They use no machines or fuels that will hurt their world. They have no rolling cars. They use no wheels on the ground. But they have many flying machines that are fueled by water.
"They have cities in space and fly back and forth with many other races from other worlds. The Woosai teach the others about ecology and their clay that they make into crystal sheets with metal that does not break or melt. They sell them fabric made from the plants and bugs in the jungle that has no weave. They buy and learn many things from them too.
"The Woosai are peculiar to us. In their little huts they have no art, no decoration. Nor on their fabric or bodies. They wear very little because their planet is warm. They have big open spaces on their huts, but no doors or windows. When the winds blow the sands or the bugs have hatched, they make an invisible wall with their machine inside.
"This machine lets them talk to others far away like a phone, or send for a ship or supplies. They do not have any machines for just entertainment. They would think our TVs to be very strange.
"They live in close family and village groups. They very often sing and make stories, music, dance, and theater for each other. They are very spontaneous. But what is strange is they have no costumes, no props, no theater building. No artworks but what is live and active in front of them. No books. No paper. They memorize everything. Teaching is given live in the group and with the machines in the huts.
"In the jungle, they cook over fire outside in the common place. They have lights, but they do not use them. In the desert, they cook their foods in a group building together. They use a machine, though.
"They all must put their water through another great machine before they can use it. It is poison to this day since the wars. In the desert there is little rain, but one does not stay out in it without harm. In the jungle the rain is frequent and they are able to move freely out in it.
"In the northern desert there are great high mountains. But no one lives up in them or goes there often, because these mountains belong to the mountain spirits, who are not big on sharing.
"The Woosai are a happy people. They enjoy simple pleasures and being together on their planet. Even though they have space travel, they like their home best and do not leave easily. Many races come there to study in their wild lands, and they must follow all the many strict laws of ecology and peace.
"They have lots of ritual and ceremony. Their knowledge is stored in huge computer places in underground structures in the foothills of the desert. Their machines in the huts and that they wear on their necks and wrists connect them like radio or phone. For a people who have no painting and sculpturing, they seem to put it into the writing, the pictographs, considered by many to be the most beautiful writing anywhere."
I had picked up a string of seaweed bulbs and was popping them as we walked back through the edge of the cold waves. The wind was coming up, and it felt wonderfully free and refreshing blowing in my face and through my hair.
"The Woosai," Domano continued, "are fiercely individuals. Even on the cities and ships in space they wear their native dress and tie their long hair according to family style. Wherever they go, they will not break their laws of nature's balance or cause harm to others. Even to their own death."
"Does this story mean that we, here, are going to keep on polluting and warring until there's nothing left?" I asked.
"This is one thing that happened," he answered. "One people's story. This does not mean we here will all destroy ourselves or become shaman-astronauts. That was their choice. We also have the whole of the universe to pick our future from." And he tossed up a handful of sand that arched high out into the air.””
- From The Reluctant Shaman by Kay Cordell Whitaker
It’ll be exciting to see which future we will choose.
In our shamanic world, we always ask the help of the Spirits. So that's what we're doing again in a big way this coming Saturday, April 8, and you can join us in this ceremony of healing and clarity finding.
We can't wait to be in ceremony with you.
Song to Song,
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